One of the questions hovering over the events in Ferguson, and really any police shooting situation, is that of the danger a police officer faces in the line of duty. The legal case against Darren Wilson, Vox's Dara Lind writes, may hinge on how much danger he perceived he was in.
That got us thinking: how much danger do the nation's police officers face on the job? Compared to the average worker, quite a bit. According to data from the Labor Department, police officers have a high fatal injury rate — 15 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers as of 2012. Meanwhile, the rate for all US workers was 3.4 per 100,000.
That makes cops more than four times as likely to die as a result of on-the-job injuries than all workers as a group. But what about other dangerous occupations? As it turns out, cops have nothing on loggers, the most dangerous occupation on which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has data. Logging workers sustain 129.9 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, followed closely by fishers, with 120.8. No other occupation even comes close.
The Labor Department has fatal injury data on dozens of occupations, but below is a look at how police officers and a few other careers stack up on the measure.